Radon Testing And Wisconsin Real Estate
Radon Testing An Increasingly Requested Contingency In Wisconsin Real Estate Transactions
Here’s a scenario we’re seeing more of all the time: A young family finds a home they love. They write up an offer and include radon testing in their contingencies. A radon test is done and it reveals high levels of radon. Suddenly, the house of their dreams doesn’t look so appealing. Fearing for the health of their young children, they end up walking away from the purchase.
Don’t Let Radon Wreck A Real Estate Purchase…or Sale
|Don't panic! Radon mitigation is a simple and proven way to bring radon levels down to acceptable levels.|
Home buyers and home sellers alike need to get realistic. The inescapable fact is that virtually all homes in Wisconsin (and throughout the US) have radon in them. Some more than others, some less. Unfortunately, our area of southeast Wisconsin has some of the highest radon levels in the state. The good news, though, is that it’s a pretty easy situation to remedy.
Our custom radon mitigation systems can be installed in just a few hours, and have been shown to bring even high radon levels down to the levels you’re typically exposed to when you’re outdoors (around 1.9 pCi/L). The EPA recommends any home with a radon level of 4 pCi/L or higher have a mitigation system installed. However, this doesn’t mean 4 pCi/L is a safe level. Radon is a radioactive gas, after all, so no level of exposure is completely without risk.
In situations involving the purchase of a home in need of radon mitigation, it's a good idea for the seller to get the buyer involved in the process. Often, there are decisions to be made on where to place the venting tubes. By involving the buyer in these decisions, there's no chance he/she will be unhappy with the installation.
We work with realtors, buyers and sellers. In our experience, communication is the key to ensuring everyone is satisfied with the the mitigation system installation. We also understand there are often tight timelines involved in real estate transactions and can respond quickly when the need arises.
Is The Home Seller Obligated To Pay For Radon Mitigation?
Unlike some states, Wisconsin does not require the party selling a home to take any corrective action if the home tests high for radon. However, the seller is legally obligated to disclose the results of their radon test to any potential buyers. As you can imagine, a high radon level makes it awfully hard to sell a home.
If you’re trying to sell a home that tests high for radon, you’re much better off going ahead and having a radon mitigation system installed. The money you spend for a mitigation system, which can range from $900 to $2000 depending on the size of the house and the work involved, is money you’ll likely recoup in a higher sale price than you'd get without having the work done. And the home will sell faster, too.
Home Buyers—A Home With High Radon Levels Can Be Remedied Easily
Home buyers concerned about radon levels should take a look at the map to the right showing radon levels throughout Wisconsin. As you can see, we have radon just about everywhere, but the area with the highest concentration of radon is southeast Wisconsin.
Aside from some areas to the north of us and some in south central Wisconsin, it’s just about impossible to find an area with no radon at all. One thing to keep in mind: Even if an area on this map looks to have low radon levels, it doesn't necessarily mean all homes in that area have low radon levels.
Here's something else to consider: the amount of radon in a home can vary drastically from one house to another--even houses that are right next door to each other. We've come across many situations where one house tests very low for radon while the house next door tests high.
If you're looking to buy a house, we definitely recommend having a radon test done as part of a pre-purchase contingency. But if the test shows high levels of radon (anything above 4 pCi/L is considered high), don’t fret. We routinely install radon mitigation systems throughout southeast Wisconsin that bring radon levels down to 1.9 pCi/L or lower.